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Edinburgh’s Best Picnic Spots

It’s May, and Edinburgh is finally getting some much-anticipated sunshine! As the city warms up, visitors and residents alike are making their way to its many gorgeous green spaces. Indeed, there’s no better way to spend a sunny Edinburgh afternoon than with a picnic in one of these picturesque outdoor areas:

The Meadows

Picnic1Perfect for: Backpackers and groups of festival-goers seeking a real local Edinburgh experience.

Defining features: Tree-lined paths, tennis courts, a children’s play area, people everywhere, the smell of barbeques, several pick-up games of football and an occasional cricket match.

Getting there: Walk toward the castle on the Royal Mile, take a left down George IV Bridge and veer right onto Forrest Road just after the Greyfriars Bobby statue. Keep walking straight until you run into a vast grassy area packed with fellow picnic-ers.

Princes Street Gardens

Picnic2Perfect for: A scenic city centre lunch break after a day of shopping or sightseeing.

Defining features: Carefully manicured flowerbeds, the ornate 19th-Century ‘Ross Fountain’, the open-air Ross Theatre, a children’s play area and an outdoor café that sits beneath the towering Edinburgh castle.

Getting there: Walk along the south side Princes Street and cut down through one of several gates into the sunken park that sits adjacent to the busy shopping street.


Holyrood Park



Perfect for: Visiting families looking for plenty of space to relax and explore.

Defining features: Beautiful views of Arthur’s Seat, the swan-filled St. Margaret’s Loch, the 14th Century ruins of St. Anthony’s chapel and an ice cream van parked conveniently nearby.

Getting there: Walk all the way down the Royal Mile and around the right side of Holyrood Palace to the large expanse of green grass behind it.


Calton Hill

Picnic4Perfect for: Anyone seeking the rewarding views of Arthur’s Seat, without the steep climb.

Defining features: Stunning views of Edinburgh and the surrounding sea and multiple monuments, including the Nelson Monument, the Robert Burns Monument, the old Royal High School, the City Observatory and the incomplete Parthenon-like structure, The National Monument.

Getting there: Walk east along Princes Street, continue onto Waterloo Place and jet left up the steps to Calton Hill.

Portobello Beach

Picnic5Perfect for: Second-time visitors to Edinburgh looking to venture outside the city centre.

Defining features: A long promenade, gorgeous stretches of sand, seaside cafes, people sailing and kayaking and a dilapidated-yet-still-fun amusements arcade.

Getting there: Take the #26 bus from Princes Street, get off on the Portobello High Street and walk down one of the side streets to the promenade.


Here at VieAmhor, we want all our guests to experience Edinburgh’s unique beauty. If you would like some help planning a perfect picnic – from tips on where to go to a basket full of goodies – please don’t hesitate to ask!



Image 1 by Kim Traynor via Wikimedia Commons |Image 2 via Wikimedia Commons | Image 3 via Wikimedia Commons | Image 4 via Saffron Blaze via Wikimedia Commons via W. Lloyd MacKenzie via Flickr | Image 5 by moneypuzzle via Flickr

Written by Margaret Kay

Originally hailing from Seattle, Margaret has called Edinburgh home for just over four years. A freelance writer, she spends her time hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop – enjoying every angle of this stunning city along the way.

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